December 8 — Coming From Behind & Holiday Couples

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

QUEEN OF THE NORTH: Women’s hockey star Marie-Philip Poulin was named Canada’s athlete of the year, winning the Northern Star Award. Poulin captained Team Canada to Olympic gold in Beijing and helped the national team defend its title at the World Championships.

LEAVES OF ABSENCE: Two players have recently taken leaves of absence from the NHL. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is taking time away from the Vegas Golden Knights to attend to an illness in his family, while Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sam Poulin is heading back to Quebec to focus on himself. We send our best wishes to Poulin and Pietrangelo’s family during this time. 

THOMPSON’S BIG NIGHT: Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson continues to prove why he’s worth every penny of his $50 million contract. He scored an impressive five goals, including the second-fastest four goals to start a game in NHL history, in his team’s 9-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

99 TO CATCH 99: Alex Ovechkin recorded two empty-net goals in the Washington Capitals’ 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, bringing his career total to 795. It was Ovechkin’s 50th and 51st tallies with the goalie pulled, five behind Wayne Gretzky’s record 56 career empty-netters.

A LOT OF BREAD: Artemi Panarin set up Mika Zibanejad’s eventual game-winning goal on the power play to record his 600th career point as the New York Rangers defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 5-1. Panarin reached the milestone in the fifth-fewest games among active players and has the fourth-most points behind Connor McDavid (749), Leon Draisaitl (651), and Patrick Kane (643) since entering the league in 2015-16.

Top Shelf Thursday – Top Holiday Couples

Now that December is in full swing, the holiday movies have been on repeat. While going through some of the classics like “Home Alone,” “The Holiday,” and “Elf,” we noticed the featured couples in each of the movies share similar traits to current NHL teams. Whether their carefree vibes, questionable choices, or everyone doubting they will last, these holiday movie couples could double as your favorite team. Join us as we break it all down.

Elf: Boston Bruins as Buddy & Jovie

Ahead of the 2022-23 season, there was a ton of speculation that the Boston Bruins would not only struggle but miss the postseason for the first time since 2016. Boston quickly quieted the naysayers by becoming one of the top teams with an impressive record of 21-3-1. Off the ice, the boys are out living their best life, providing some hilarious TikTok content! Like Buddy and Jovie, the Bruins are out to have a good time and enjoy the moment. It is all about the simple things in life, like Christmas trees and goal celebrations. 

Home Alone: Anaheim Ducks as Kate & Peter

It does not matter how often you have seen “Home Alone” or “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” you are always left asking the same question, what the heck is wrong with Kate and Peter McCallister? As viewers, we can’t believe they forgot their son not once but twice. Similarly, Anaheim Ducks fans are bewildered every time they tune into a game, as the club only has one regulation win through 27 contests. Between the club’s slow start and questionable lineup decisions, the Ducks are shouting what the h-e-double hockey sticks at head coach Dallas Eakins and general manager Pat Verbeek.

The Holiday: New Jersey Devils as Amanda & Graham

By the end of “The Holiday,” every viewer has the same thing on their mind: There is no way Amanda and Graham’s relationship is sustainable. Well, that’s what critics are saying about the New Jersey Devils and their current pace of play. New Jersey has shocked everyone and remains at the top of the standings through 26 games. It’s been a storybook beginning for the hockey club, but like Amanda and Graham’s relationship, you’re waiting for reality to sink in and for the Devils to come down to earth. Will they continue to prove everyone wrong like the unlikely couple? Only time will tell. 

Comeback Kings

Although we are over a quarter into the 2022-23 season, the offensive production from NHL teams has been a frenzy and has resulted in some spectacular comeback wins. With a couple taking place in the last week, we thought we would highlight some of the most impressive come-from-behind victories of the season so far.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Vancouver Canucks

On Dec. 5, the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks had one of the most exhilarating games of the season. Vancouver has the second-most losses when leading by two or more goals, so to see the Canucks win a game when trailing was a nice change of pace for their fans. Montreal had a 4-0 lead after the first period before Vancouver notched two goals in the second to make it 4-2. Eventually, the Habs and Canucks combined for a six-goal third period, which had them tied 6-6 going into overtime. Center Elias Pettersson won the game for the Canucks 7-6, making it the first time a team has come back from a four-goal deficit and won this season.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Dallas Stars

When the Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks matched up on Nov. 23, the Blackhawks had all the momentum leading 4-1 in the third period until forward Max Domi took a tripping penalty with more than 10 minutes left. Stars forward Jamie Benn scored a power-play goal to make it 4-2, and the Hawks couldn’t stop the bleeding afterward. Dallas scored three more times and added an empty-netter to seal the game 6-4. It was the second time in franchise history the Stars came back from a three-goal deficit in the third period to win in regulation. 

Boston Bruins vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

In an early Eastern Conference matchup between two powerhouse teams, the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins came out with a bang. Pittsburgh was leading 5-2 in the second period on Nov. 1 before the Bruins fought back to score three unanswered goals by Brad Marchand, Pavel Zacha, and Taylor Hall. It resulted in a 6-5 overtime victory for the Bruins courtesy of defenseman Hampus Lindholm. Boston showed early on why it is one of the top teams in the NHL, and this game was an important notice for the league. 

Real or Fake: Ottawa Senators

This weekly segment looks at a notable, eye-opening trend in the league, be it an individual or team performance, and examines whether it’s real or if it’s more likely an aberration that should correct itself over time.

As more time continues to pass and we get deeper into the 2022-23 season, the more it seems like the Ottawa Senators, the offseason darlings of this past summer, aren’t quite ready to be taken seriously as a playoff contender. With a 10-14-1 record, they remain stuck in the Atlantic Division basement, behind the rebuilding Montreal Canadiens and the perennially struggling Buffalo Sabres, while already 20 points back of the division-leading Boston Bruins.

No, we aren’t past the point of no return, but head coach D.J. Smith’s seat is feeling hot. However, the clock is ticking if Ottawa hopes to make up ground on some teams in front of them. After the offseason buzz, is the Sens’ slow start real or fake?

Real: The Newcomers Have Delivered

When an organization fresh off an overhaul undergoes a slow start, you’ll typically hear about how they’re still learning to play together and that the new guys are adjusting to their surroundings. Unfortunately, it’s hard to ask for more than the 43 points that Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat have produced since joining the team. And while new goaltender Cam Talbot hasn’t been great, he’s hardly the biggest problem.

Fake: Room for Improvement From the Core

While Ottawa can’t expect much more than what they’ve gotten from Giroux and DeBrincat, the key holdovers are another story. Even as Brady Tkachuk and Tim Stützle deliver points, Thomas Chabot hasn’t looked like himself on the back end, and Drake Batherson is a team-worst minus-18. A healthy Josh Norris and a signed Alex Formenton would probably help, but there’s no timetable for Norris’ return, and Formenton is no longer eligible to play this season.

Real: A Long Road Ahead

Even if the Senators do cobble together some wins, catching the likes of Montreal and Buffalo will be the easy part. To guarantee a playoff spot in the top-heavy Atlantic, they will have to surpass at least one of the Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, or Tampa Bay Lightning, to say nothing of the improved Detroit Red Wings and lurking Florida Panthers. If they hope to grasp a Wild Card spot, they’d have to contend with the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, and Washington Capitals.

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